Our Guide to a Better Sleep
18th May 2017
It’s better sleep month! Time to put some energy towards one of the most important parts of the day, with a little help from us.
Sleep should be an easy thing. It’s the end of the day, your tired, you lie down and then you drift off, right? Well for some people it isn’t that simple. More than half the UK sleep only 6 hours a day with 36% being classified as possibly having chronic insomnia.
We at Dream Doors believe that a healthy night’s sleep is one of the most important things in life. Recharging your body and mind for the next day is invaluable and getting it right can be absolutely life changing.
As such we have decided to do some research and provide a handy guide to good sleep. Here we will look at statistics, causes and cures for all things sleepy.
Insomnia is The No.1 cause of poor sleep, with an estimated one third of the population experiencing it. Typically, it involves unhelpful “cycles” of racing thoughts, anxiety and worry, most prominently concerning sleep itself. The condition is further worsened by unhelpful patterns of thoughts and behaviour, such as sleeping during the day.
Pretty straightforward. For various reasons people love to sleep in, and why not? A good lie in on a Sunday can feel great. However, making a habit out of oversleeping can have detrimental effects, likening your overabundance of sleep to a lack of it, causing health problems.
Although rare (affecting 1 in 2,500 people) narcolepsy does exist and can seriously effect someone’s quality of life. Narcolepsy is a rare neurological condition that affects the brain’s ability to regulate the normal sleep-wake cycle.
We all know what snoring is but there can come a point where it seriously affects your quality of life. Some can’t help snoring and can be heard the next room! This can cause excessive tiredness, poor concentration and relationship problems.
This condition is characterised by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep. This effect can be the cause of problems such as obesity and heart attack. Whilst most people are unaware they have it, the condition can be discovered with observation.
Everyone has a nightmare at some point, although chronic nightmares can be detrimental to a person’s mental and physical health. They can make people fear the idea of sleeping itself and thus worsens their situation.
This is the one to focus on. Exercise does wonders for the body, whether they be hidden or apparent straight away. Just a few minutes exercise during the day can provide great benefits to your system. The brain releases dopamine during rigorous exercise, giving you a feeling of contentment and making you more tired so that you will be happy and ready to sleep during the night. Keep up a routine and your sleep should fall into place too!
In our modern age it’s hard to stay away from technology, but that’s what you have to do before sleeping. The light given off by computer and mobile screens are the same as that of daylight, meaning it is highly effective at keeping your brain awake and alert. Turn off those distractions before bed and stop the confusion!
And we are really emphasising the small part. Having a rest during the day can help your body recharge and become more alert, although you will have to limit your nap to 20 minutes. Any longer and you risk falling into deep sleep which could have a worse effect on your body.
Block your clock
You heard us, cover your alarm clock when it gets late, worrying about the time leads you to developing anxiety about the next day, which in turn makes it even harder to sleep!
Sometimes posture can affect your ability to sleep. Parts of your body, such as your lower bank, can become strained if you sleep in an awkward position. To rectify this simply put a pillow between your legs. This will help you sleep in a more natural and comfortable position.
It’s worth noting that you should also take care in the position of your neck whilst sleeping. Make sure your pillow isn’t too fat or flat, it has to support the natural curve of your neck. Sleep on your side? Make sure your nose is lined up with the centre of your body.
Set a body clock
This step is all about routine. Found an exercise schedule? Stick to it! Go to sleep around the same time every night and aim to get up the same time every day. It’s easy to lie in but the benefits of setting a body clock are too great. Soon your body will be able to tell exactly when you want to sleep and will help you do it!
Eat right at night
Don’t eat heavy foods and big meals too late at night. This can overload your digestive system which effects how well you sleep. Opt for something light, such as cereal. Alternately, a recent study has shown that two Kiwi’s before bed can make you fall asleep an astonishing 35 percent faster!
Free your mind
Put aside all work, worries and tough decisions 2 to 3 hours before bed. Spend this time relaxing and turning down the “noise” of the day. Take out a good book, meditate, listen to quiet music, have a bath or perform some yoga, all an hour before bed. Relaxing before bed is the hardest yet, arguably, the most important thing to do in the evening.